A blog experiment by Brad Mills.


Quit being snobby and enjoy The Orville

Just in case you're jonesing for a Star Trek fix before Star Trek: Discovery starts in a week or so, you'd do well to check out The Orville on Fox. It's not Trek, but it's a great show — in space, on a spaceship, with a crew that has fantastic chemistry — and there's enough familiarity to make any Trek fan feel right at home.

The Orville It's getting panned by critics, and I somewhat expected this. It's being called bland, not funny, and rarely effective. I'm not sure what show these people were watching, but it wasn't The Orville. The show I watched was irreverent, funny, and well-executed — and with just enough nostalgia thrown in to pay proper respectful homage to a giant sci-fi series.

Fox has already moved it from Sunday to Thursday, two episodes in. I'd like to think the network is making a smart move there, moving it out of the post-NFL game slot (where it would be subject to delays and such, as sports programming can be a bit unpredictable) and into a proper primetime slot... Thursday nights at 9:00, an esteemed place once occupied by shows like Cheers, Seinfeld, Frasier (all on "another network" as David Letterman once used to say). My assumption that Fox knows how to keep a sci-fi show alive could easily be wrong too. It is the same network that canceled Firefly, after all. As if we sci-fi folks would ever forget that, or forgive it.

Anyway, check it out. And for the critics and haters, here's a quick checklist to get you up to speed.

  1. It's Seth MacFarlane. If you were expecting high drama or a documentary or something, you might want to review his other work.
  2. It's early. All sci-fi shows need at least a season, maybe a half season, to get their sea legs (or space legs, whatever). I think you could say that about most shows, really. It's called character development. This one has already got some pretty good chemistry if you'd pay attention.
  3. The audience loves it. Which of these is more likely... that you're wrong, or that all of us are?
  4. It's funny. Lighten up. Laugh a little! Damn.
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